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Certificate.  A document accompanying a medal when bestowed as an award or accompanying any numismatic item at the time of its issue.

            An award certificate names the recipient, spells out the details of the award, identifies the organization making the award, with the organization’s embossed seal and is usually signed by one or more of the organization’s officials. The statement for the reason of the award is called the citation. The document is finely printed often in great embellishment with fine calligraphy. If an award ceremony is held it is called an investiture to bestow the medal and the certificate to the RECIPIENT.

            A certificate of authentication is a less elaborate document, often little more than a leaflet. It accompanies a numismatic or medallic item as a collectors’ item.


 .  A series of elaborately designed links forming a circle to go around the neck and from which is suspended a pendant, medal or badge; a collar. Chains are part of a decoration or order, often in precious metal, and are designed similar to the pendant, medal, breast star and other jewelry of the order. As in all these jewelry items they are designed with strong heraldry elements and often created in classes; higher classes would have the chain in larger size, more elaborate design and in more precious metal. Chains are an integral part of decorations and orders and are intended to be used in formal attire on state occasions and ceremonies.  See collar (1).

In the twentieth century chains have been adopted by academic organizations as a badge of office.

Also a chain (in the usual definition) used as part of suspension system for parts of a medal to be worn or for suspending other accouterments. There are many kinds of chains, the most common being loop-in-loop.  See suspension.

CLASS 10.6

1350-(005)02.5           Illus: Photo

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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